Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday said he wasn't entirely sold on appointing a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton's and the FBI's possible role in the preparation of a salacious dossier on Donald Trump.
Democrats have criticized this as a ploy to deflect attention from the special counsel probing Trump campaign interactions with the Kremlin and potential effects on the 2016 presidential election. Those details complicate Sessions' effort to downplay knowledge of the campaign's foreign contacts.
"You said one time that good people don't smoke marijuana", Cohen said, referring to statements Sessions made as a Senator previous year.
But will Clinton herself ever be indicted as a result of Mueller's investigations? Sessions is leaving open the possibility that a special counsel could be appointed to look into Clinton Foundation dealings and an Obama-era uranium deal.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, where he is likely to face questions on Russia's election interference.
On Monday, the head of the Justice Department's legislative affairs office responded to those requests by confirming that "senior federal prosecutors" were "evaluat [ing] certain issues raised in your letters". Goodlatte said in his opening remarks that he felt Sessions had generally done a good job in his first nine months as attorney general, though he noted his tenure had "not been without difficulty".
"Each of those are pretty special factual situations, and we will use the proper standards, and that's the only thing I can tell you, Mr. Jordan" Sessions said.
However, court documents related to Papadopoulos' guilty plea showed that the former adviser offered to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a campaign meeting in 2016, which Sessions attended.
Though the Justice Department falls within the executive branch, and its priorities are historically in line with those of the president, the White House is not supposed to influence the decisions of prosecutors on any particular cases.
Mr. Sessions declined to say whether he was recused.
The department's letter, dated November 13, is a direct response to July 27 and September 26 letters sent by the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Robert William Goodlatte (R., Va.), and other members of the committee. His letter, signed by 19 other Republicans, said that Judiciary Committee members were concerned that Mueller might not have a broad enough mandate to investigate other election-related matters, which he said included actions taken by Comey, Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. "I have chose to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States", he said. Having Trump's own deputies at the DOJ handle it means that any adverse finding about Hillary will be dismissed by the left as Trump running a banana-republic Justice Department that's carrying out his political vendettas.
"Hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out", Trump said.